“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.” I saw this this quote, unattributed, a couple of days ago.
A quick online search reveals this as generally coming from Frank Zappa. Other variations are attributed variously to Sir Thomas Dewar, Anthony J d’Angelo, Tom Evans, Jordan Maxwell, and even the Dalai Lama.
As is often the case, I started to ponder this from different angles:
- A closed mind is one that doesn’t get a lot of use. So when the time comes, as it always does, people who don’t use their minds can’t control their descent and they can’t land safely.
- To extend the metaphor, not taking care of your mind is like not maintaining the parachute or packing it properly.
Naturally enough, the online search also had several ironic variations:
- A mind is like a parachute. If it doesn’t open, you’re f***d!
- A mind is like a parachute. If it is open all the time, you’ll probably end up getting sucked into a jet engine.
- I used to have an open mind, but my brains kept falling out!
My favourite alternative though was this: “I’d rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.”
What variations have you seen or occur to you? How might you apply this to generate effective dialogue?